Consultation meeting on review of previous electoral manifestos
Published on: August 24, 2022
On 17th August, CIL Kathmandu hosted a discussion on reviewing the previous electoral manifestos of major political parties from a disability-inclusive perspective. Under the Canadian fund for Local Initiatives project-CFLI, the program organized to promote electoral candidacy was attended and interacted by the disability activists affiliated with the political parties and their disability unions to advocate for a disability-inclusive manifesto for the forthcoming election.
Disability activists presented the view that it is unfair to consider any type of disability, including psycho-social, for disqualification as an attendant of the PWDs during the voting. Here, Kaladhar Bhandari also added the need for provision to permit the desired person as voting for assistance to severe disabilities like the Visually Impaired as per their choice. During the discussion, Dr. Laxman Gyawali from CPN UML‘s sister organization Lokatanatrik Aapanga Sangathan Nepal– shared that political parties have been writing about disability and their issues without understanding it properly. Also, he added there needs to be the provision of Disability rights as fundamental rights in the constitution. Further adding he advocated for the amendment of the acts and laws for the inclusion of persons with disabilities and the use of dignified and respectful word phrases in such documents.
Dev kumari Parajuli- central committee member of Rashtriya Prajatantra Party added there is a crucial role of the PWDs in the internal democratic practice and inclusiveness in the parties. Maheshwar Ghimire of Rashtriya Swotantra Party emphasized on improvement of the internal democratic and inclusive system of the party for the strengthening and development of the sister organization of the political parties. Similarly, he assured that in the election manifesto and other official documents of his newly formed party, disability-friendly inclusive methods and accessibility will be given first priority. Bikash Thapa from Raastriya Lokatantrik Aapanga Sangh added that only paper declarations or laws are not sufficient as the real challenge is in practical implementation.
Other different activists including representatives of CPN Socialist and CPN Maoist expressed that the development of Disability-Inclusive politics is possible only through impactful advocacy and campaigns targeting the political leadership. Finally, Tek. Bahadur Gurung, President of this organization in his concluding remarks said that such programs will help in building a common perception and consensus of persons with disabilities and developing inter-party networks.